Improving brand awareness involves consistent brand positioning, clear messaging, multichannel presence, creating community, and showcasing authenticity. Here’s how to do it.

Brand awareness is the cornerstone of a company’s visibility. It serves as the initial step in a person’s journey from discovering your brand to becoming a loyal customer. At its core, brand awareness is about making your brand not just seen but also remembered and preferred.

This involves a blend of recognition, positioning, and emotional connection, ensuring your brand resonates with your audience at every touchpoint.

Why is this crucial? Because a familiar brand is often a consumer’s first choice in an overcrowded market. It’s doubly important if you’re a small business with loads of competitors.

This guide dives deep into why brand awareness matters, differentiating it from mere recognition, and outlines actionable strategies to enhance your brand’s footprint online.

Graphic designer with colleague working in office

What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness is the measure of how familiar your target audience is with your brand and how well they recognize it. It’s the foundation of building brand equity and differentiates your brand in crowded marketplaces.

Effective brand awareness strategies ensure that your brand is top-of-mind when consumers are ready to make a purchase and lay the groundwork for your business growth and customer loyalty.

5 elements of a good brand awareness strategy

1. Consistent brand positioning

A unique stance in the market is essential to help you stand out. Your brand’s positioning should clearly articulate what sets it apart and remain consistent in that position. Focus on unique attributes and benefits that resonate with your target audience.

2. Clear messaging

Ensure your brand voice is consistent and easy to understand across all platforms and all types of content. This solidifies your brand identity and helps consumers recognize your brand.

3. Multichannel presence

Being present across multiple channels (such as social, podcasts, email, blogs, etc.) maximizes your brand’s visibility. Tailor your strategy to each platform to engage effectively with different segments of your audience, but remember to keep the messaging consistent.

4. Creating community

Building a community around your brand increases engagement and loyalty. Use interactive content, forums, or social media groups to foster a sense of belonging among your customers.

5. Authenticity

Authenticity is key to building trust and loyalty. Ensure your brand’s actions and messaging are always genuine, reflecting your core values and mission.

It can be tempting to jump on trends in an attempt to go viral and reach new audiences, but if these trends don’t align with your values, your brand will come across as fake and the content unnatural.

Proven brand awareness strategies

1. Maximize your social media marketing efforts

Leveraging social media platforms is a powerful way to enhance brand awareness. Create engaging, shareable content that reflects your brand’s personality and values. You should also try to be on all the social networks that are relevant to your brand.

If you have a lifestyle brand that is targeted at Gen Z, TikTok might be a good choice. However, if you sell B2B SaaS, LinkedIn would make more sense.

For example, Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke marketing campaign encouraged users to share moments with personalized Coke bottles. It has over 615,000 posts on Instagram, which boosted its social media engagement and brand visibility significantly.

2. Run targeted ads

Targeted PPC advertising, especially on platforms like Facebook, allows brands to reach specific audiences with precision. You can create brand awareness campaigns that use data analytics to pinpoint consumers based on their interests, behaviors, and demographics, ensuring your message reaches those most likely to engage.

The sophisticated targeting options allow for customization based on location, search history, and online activity. By focusing on a tailored audience, brands can effectively increase visibility, drive more meaningful engagement, and boost recall, making targeted ads a potent tool for raising brand awareness.

3. Embrace corporate social responsibility (CSR)

CSR initiatives can be a great tactic for brand building. Patagonia sets the benchmark in CSR, merging environmental activism with its brand identity. Their “1% for the Planet” initiative, where they commit 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment, shows how CSR can enhance brand awareness.

This strategy not only amplifies its brand values but also engages a community of people who share these concerns, as their target audience is outdoor enthusiasts.

4. Create shareable content

Content that is informative, entertaining, or emotionally resonant is more likely to be shared – therefore, reach more potential customers and increase your brand awareness.

GoPro’s digital marketing strategy of sharing user-generated content showcasing their cameras in action has proven effective in demonstrating product capabilities while engaging their community.

5. Encourage user-generated content (UGC)

UGC, such as reviews, testimonials, and social media posts from customers, can serve as authentic endorsements for your brand. Lush Cosmetics leverages UGC by encouraging customers to share their experiences using hashtags on social media.

This strategy not only showcases their products in real-life scenarios but also builds a community around the brand. Customers become brand ambassadors, their content serving as authentic endorsements.

6. Sponsor relevant events

Event sponsorship can introduce your brand to new audiences. But you need to choose events that are relevant to your brand. You don’t want to sponsor a financial conference if your company is a women’s beachwear brand.

For example, Red Bull sponsors extreme sports events that align with their brand image of energy and adventure, enhancing their visibility among target demographics. This also affords them the opportunity to create partnerships with influencers and those participating in the events.

With webinars and online conferences, your sponsorship reach can be as far as you like.

7. Generate positive media coverage and backlinks

Positive media mentions and backlinks from reputable sites can improve search engine optimization (SEO) and brand credibility. Press releases, media outreach, and creating newsworthy events are strategies to generate media attention.

This works best when your press coverage comes from publications that your target audience is likely to read or engage with.

8. Revamp your SEO content

High-quality, SEO-optimized content can attract more organic traffic to your website. You can then increase your brand awareness by dominating the search engine results pages (SERPs) and ensuring that when users search for certain products, your brand is the one they are shown.

9. Incentivize referrals

Referral programs can turn your loyal customers into brand advocates. Dropbox’s referral program, offering additional storage space for both the referrer and the referred, means that they build a stronger relationship with their current customers while also getting new ones.

10. Give your brand a face

Humanizing your brand by featuring employees or the founder in your content can build a more personal connection with your audience. Steve Jobs’ association with Apple is a classic example of a brand leveraging its founder’s persona to enhance its image and build loyalty.

If you think it doesn’t matter who your CEO or employees are, think again. An overwhelming 65% of consumers say that a brand’s CEO and employees influence their decision to buy.

11. Social media contests

Incorporate social media contests and giveaways as a strategy to boost brand awareness. These initiatives encourage participation and sharing among your audience, significantly increasing the awareness of your brand.

By offering prizes that align with your brand values and appeal to your target demographic, you can engage an active community, foster brand loyalty, and attract new followers.

This approach not only enhances engagement but also positions your brand favorably in the digital landscape, leveraging the power of social media channels and social sharing to expand your reach.

Why is it important to build brand awareness?

Brand awareness is the first step in building an engaged audience.

HawkSEM’s lead strategist, Alyssa Galik, explains, “While your brand could be the best on the market and be the only solution to solve a designated problem if people do not know who you are, they will not purchase your product.

Laying the foundation for your brand through brand awareness creates top-of-the-funnel opportunities that will drive the bottom-of-funnel success.”

She emphasizes that building a full funnel, from awareness down to retargeting, provides the most value for long-term success.

Trust and recognition

Brand awareness fosters trust amongst your audience. When a brand is easily recognizable and well known, it’s often seen as more dependable, with 81% of consumers needing to trust a brand to buy from it. Brand awareness can sway purchasing decisions, as people often favor familiar and safe brands.

A brand story that consumers identify with can build trust and gain attention. “My go-to brand asset is a brand story,” explains Galik.

“Using an expert voice in video content to show who the brand is and in their designated space to create association and share comfortability that emphasizes the care and connection of the brand.”

Competitive edge

In a crowded marketplace, brand awareness can provide a distinct competitive advantage. It makes your brand more memorable to consumers, which can be pivotal in driving preference and selection over others.

Customer loyalty

Beyond attracting new customers, brand awareness strengthens loyalty among existing ones. Familiarity leads to repeat business and builds a loyal customer base more inclined to recommend your brand, enhancing its visibility and reach.

Word-of-mouth marketing

A strong brand encourages customers to share their experiences, expanding reach through word-of-mouth. This form of marketing is highly effective and cost-efficient, as satisfied customers become brand advocates.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is when a company partners with an individual or group that has influence in their industry. They advocate, support, or spread awareness of the brand. It’s an effective way to get in front of your target audience because influencers pair with brands that are in their niche or complementary ones.

Brand recognition vs. brand awareness

Brand recognition and brand awareness are phrases that are often used interchangeably. But there are distinct differences between the two. While recognition is about instant identification, awareness aims to build a deeper emotional connection with people, influencing their purchase decisions.

Brand Recognition VS Brand Awareness (1)

How to measure brand awareness

Since brand awareness is more passive than the conversion stage of the funnel, your metrics are also going to be more top-of-funnel.

“When evaluating brand awareness, two important metrics are impression frequency and web traffic,” says Galik. “At this stage, you are working on recognition and that may not always include engagement, so minimally you want to ensure your audience is seeing your ads multiple times.

Analyze direct web visits

  • Relation to brand awareness: Direct web visits indicate that people know your brand well enough to type your URL into their browser, suggesting strong brand recall.
  • How to measure: Use analytics tools like Google Analytics to track the number of direct visits to your website.
  • Why it matters: High direct traffic can signal strong brand loyalty, informing you to focus on retention strategies and deeper engagement with your existing audience.

“While engagement is not always associated, you want to be sure you are driving a relative amount of web traffic to help signify you are hitting the right audience,” Galik explains.

“Regardless of whether they are in the market for your product, if you are reaching the right audience, that should spark some curiosity about who you are and what role you play in their industry,” she says. “That web visit helps signify you are serving your ads to the right audience and that they will likely remember seeing an ad from you.”

Overall website engagement

  • Relation to brand awareness: Total traffic reflects the broader visibility and appeal of your brand, capturing both familiar and new visitors.
  • How to measure: Look at metrics such as page views, session duration, and bounce rate in Google Analytics.
  • Why it matters: Understanding which content attracts visitors helps refine your content strategy to boost engagement and awareness.

Engagement on social platforms

  • Relation to brand awareness: Social media interactions reflect your brand’s ability to engage and resonate with the audience.
  • How to measure: Monitor likes, shares, comments, and follower growth using platform-specific analytics tools.
  • Why it matters: High engagement rates can guide your social media strategy, encouraging more of the content that will help you grow your audience.

Monitoring brand mentions online

  • Relation to brand awareness: Online mentions indicate your brand’s footprint outside your owned channels.
  • How to measure: Set up Google Alerts for your brand and use social listening tools to track mentions across the web.
  • Why it matters: This can inform public relations strategies and help manage your brand’s reputation effectively.

Insights through social listening

  • Relation to brand awareness: Listening to organic conversations about your brand provides insights into public perception.
  • How to measure: Use social listening tools to aggregate mentions, tags, and relevant hashtags. It can be tough to keep track of metrics across multiple platforms, but with ConversionIQ, our proprietary marketing technology, you can drive actionable insights, full-funnel attribution, and high-quality conversions that continuously improve your bottom line.
  • Why it matters: Identifying common themes and sentiments can guide product development, marketing messaging, and customer service improvements.

Feedback via surveys

  • Relation to brand awareness: Surveys directly gauge customer awareness and perceptions of your brand.
  • How to measure: Distribute surveys through email, social media, or on your website, asking about brand recall, preferences, and perceptions.
  • Why it matters: Survey results can highlight areas for improvement in brand positioning and communication strategies.

The takeaway

To elevate brand awareness, focus on crafting a unique brand positioning, delivering clear and consistent messaging across multiple channels, and engaging with your community authentically.

Strategies like maximizing social media presence, running targeted ads, embracing CSR with examples like Patagonia, generating user content, as seen with Lush Cosmetics, and more are crucial. Measure success through direct traffic, engagement metrics, and feedback to fine-tune your approach.

Shire Lyon

Shire Lyon

Shire is a passionate writer and marketer with over eight years of experience as a writer and digital marketer. She's well-versed in SEO, PPC, and social media, helping businesses both big and small grow and scale. On her downtime, she enjoys hiking, cooking, gardening, reading, and sailing.